12:30pm: Sbisa confirmed that he will join Islanders camp on a professional tryout.
10:30am: Though it’s not clear if a professional tryout (or even a full contract) is incoming, Arthur Staple of The Athletic reports that free agent defenseman Luca Sbisa is present at the New York Islanders veteran skate today. Sbisa is one of the more interesting free agents left on the market, and the Islanders have already shown a willingness to bring in veteran defensemen to battle for spots in camp after inviting Dennis Seidenberg in recent days.
Sbisa, 28, dealt with another injury plagued season in 2017-18 and suited up for just 30 games with the Vegas Golden Knights. He did record 14 points in those games though, which was incredibly his highest total since the 2011-12 season. That production carried over to the postseason where he recorded four assists in 12 playoff contest, but wasn’t enough to prove he deserved an extension with Vegas.
That’s been the theme of Sbisa’s career to this point after being selected 19th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008. There have been just two seasons in which he played at least 80 games, and though that isn’t entirely due to injury there has been a problem staying in the lineup at each of his stops.
The Islanders though could be a fine stop for him as they look for a way to replace their outgoing minutes on the blue line. Though Thomas Hickey re-signed, Calvin de Haan took his talents to Carolina and other peripheral players like Brandon Davidson and Seidenberg won’t be in the mix. There could be an opportunity for a player like Sbisa to sign a short-term deal and rebuild his value, showing that the increased offensive production last season is sustainable if given the chance.
He might already be the Isles second best D man if Boychuk isn’t healthy anymore.
Isles could use some defense in their rebuild